Madame Clairevoyant Horoscope

I really enjoyed my horoscope this week from Madame Clairevoyant, especially after graduation and a need for a lot of reflection, and I felt like sharing.

Taurus: This is a week for watching the world move around you. It’s a world for listening to the sounds of the place you live in, all the wind or the cars or the birds outside your window. It’s a week to feel a little self-contained. It’s a week for stillness. It’s a week for staying home when you need to. Let your brain work quietly, let your thoughts gather, let them wander, let them grow strong. You can remember who you are, this week. You can remember where you’ve been. You can remember your own true name.

on screen – gravity

Believe the hype.

Sandra Bullock in Gravity

Gravity tells the story of two astronauts – one a seasoned pro, played by George Clooney, and the other a doctor on her first mission played by Sandra Bullock. This emotional roller coaster of a film leaves you on the edge of your seat constantly waiting for the tension to break. I can’t really say anything else without spoiling something but from the breathtaking cinematography, to the gripping score, the fantastic character development, and the directing by Alfonso Cuarón which makes you feel as though you are an integral part of the film, this picture is sure to be a must-see picture for this year.

Being completely honest, the first time I saw a teaser trailer for this film was before The Great Gatsby and the theatre erupted in laughter, myself included. The audience had no idea what the movie would be about other than people hopelessly lost in space. After seeing the movie for myself, however, the film is a much deeper character study and science-fiction thriller and the vague trailers are only that way in order to not spoil the plot.

My room mate and I saw it last night in 3D and I honestly couldn’t imagine seeing it any other way (actually, we didn’t know seeing it in 2D was an option because the theatre we went to only had it in 3D) and I haven’t been able to stop listening to the soundtrack. So, if you get the chance, definitely see Gravity as it is sure to rack up awards this Oscar season.

Blogs I Love: Forty Days of Dating

Forty Days of Dating

Blogs I love: Forty Days of Dating

The premise: What do you do when you’re tired of the prospect of dating? Two good friends with opposite relationship problems found themselves single at the same time. As an experiment, they dated for 40 days.

Thoughts: In 21st century NYC, it’s terribly difficult to date and more and more millennials find themselves faced with similar problems – focus on careers, fear of commitment, and the inability to make time for relationships. This experiment is an adorable journal of interactions between two similar (yet very different) people and how they react when posed with the same questions. I could not stop reading this blog – definitely check it out.

Summer Social Media Cleanse

disadvantages-of-social-media

Finding myself with a lot of free time, I’ve become even more plugged in than ever. I am constantly listening to music on the radio, reading blogs, checking the news, or skimming through the pages of a book or magazine.

In light of this, my best friend Alex came up with the idea for a Media Mindfulness Month where you can see her tips/rules. For the month of July, I am cleansing myself of media which portrays unrealistic expectations for myself and other women or degrades me in any way. This spans from fashion magazines to fitness magazines, lifestyle blogs to television.

Sounds kind of complicated, right? Well, it actually provided me with a great reason why to go through the content that I select to view on a daily basis. That meant clearing up my Twitter feed, my Pinterest (I’m looking at you, crash diet and fitness junkies!), but especially my Tumblr dashboard. Prior to this, I allowed myself to be inundated by depressing, triggering images on tumblr when I made the conscious choice to follow these particular blogs. This gave me that extra motivation to do some spring cleaning to my bookmarks, blogs, and print media that I subscribe to in order to not be surrounded by negative images by my own choice.

Personally, I’m trying to add music to this equation as well. As a music business student, I am listening to all sorts of music, some with a better message than others. In addition to print media, I am not listening to music that I find to be degrading or disrespectful. By chucking top-40, which I hardly listen to anyway, I spend my mornings catching up with the rest of the world on NPR or listening to (what I usually listen to anyway) my favorite classic rock station.

After these simple changes it seems ridiculous to keep following something or reading something just because I’m too lazy to do anything about it which gets to the root of the purpose of the month: empowerment. Through this, I hope to continue this practice further, not just for this month, because sometimes if you want to feel good about yourself, you need to stop exposing yourself to the things that put you down.

The Fascination with Brunch

Sex and the City set up every girl to love Manolos, want a Mr. Big, and crave that super-social meal of the day with your friends: brunch.

The ladies of SatC tend to have a bit more of a glamorous brunch experience.

This weekend I have splurged and found myself at brunch two days in a row with close friends. Breakfast food is my favorite, so I was definitely psyched to be able to partake twice at two classic Athens establishments, Mama’s Boy and The Grit. While “breakfast food” is a socially created construct, as was pointed out to me by one of my friends I was dining with, I found myself thinking about what the hype of this middle-meal truly was.

First of all, it’s breakfast at a time where I don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to have it. I think the reason why I love breakfast food is because it’s almost a treat. There isn’t a single day of the week when I have time (or want to sacrifice sleep) in order to make myself an omelet with bacon or pancakes. Restaurants typically only serve breakfast until 10 or 10:30 so even then it’s pushing it to get breakfast before I’m running somewhere else. Drive-thru breakfast is alright, but doesn’t have the same feeling. In the dimension of brunch, breakfast can run as late as three in the afternoon which, after a long week of work or a little bit too much evening fun, is greatly appreciated.

Then there’s the options. I don’t know about you, but my measly college kitchen isn’t stocked with all the delicacies that brunch has to hold. Omelets with limitless toppings, ham, bacon, pancakes, biscuits, grits, hash browns, fruit, the list goes on and on. Also, the option for breakfast food or lunch food provides a myriad of options for those who are less obsessed with breakfast choices.

Lastly, you can indulge a little in the beverage department. My selection both outings was coffee, but sometimes you just want a mimosa to kick off your day.

Breaking it down, it’s really easy to see why everyone loves this awkwardly wedged meal is a staple at restaurants everywhere and makes for a perfect weekend treat. Not everyone may be a Carrie, but everyone can have brunch.

on screen – leaving

A modern-day twist on The Graduate, Leaving keeps the audience hooked from the first glances between Julie and Aaron. Julie, portrayed by the stunning Helen McCrory, is a middle-aged mother and wife who is employed following her passion: event management, specifically weddings, at a countryside hotel. Within a few minutes, you are introduced to the young Aaron, played by Calum Turner, who is in attending his brother’s wedding to Aaron’s past beau. Prior to the wedding, Julie and Aaron interact for the first time as Aaron introduces himself as the “second best man” and the conversation is rather blasé. However, emotions come into play following the wedding and for the rest of the three-part romantic-drama leaving me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

I almost feel as though this should not be compared to The Graduate in any other way than the characterization of a relationship between a younger man and an older woman. Unlike the film with its eerie Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack, Leaving provided a reversal in the seduction with a younger man interested in the older woman and the emotional struggle of finding happiness but not hurting those you love. The work provided ample support for the emotional depth of the characters and their motivations throughout the series which led to a healthy resolution (despite the not-so-happy ending). McCrory is stunning in her portrayal of Julie who is facing her own issues regarding self-esteem, her marriage and home life, and her success despite pressure at her job.

I do not wish to ruin it for you, but if you ever find yourself in need of a great British mini-series, I would check out Leaving – you won’t be disappointed.

Adventures in Record Shopping

The daunting rows of disc after disc. Sorted further into wooden crates. Gems surrounding me, but the particular selection I am looking for can suddenly becoming a needle in a haystack of musical memories.

Silence is filled with the racing thoughts within my head – what am I looking for? Is it here? With all of these thoughts, distraction is inevitable.

A swirl of “what ifs” continue to plague my mind as I flip through the records, gasping every few in how beautiful it is to see them in person and taking a few out to examine.

Then it happens. I find exactly what I am looking for. The floodgate of thoughts is released and excitement takes over with the glorious find – the original Buckingham Nicks album.

With the album under my arm, I walk towards the register, converse with the sales person about the excitement over my find and we share this moment together reveling in the music.

The hardest part? The car ride waiting to play it at home, dance around my room, and soak up the sounds of the fall of ’73.

Political Activism and Social Media

Image

The perfect image, courtesy of http://the-stradivarius.tumblr.com

There are few things that I get riled up about and women’s issues is one of them. Last night, after following the details intermittently regarding SB5 in the Texas Senate this week, I stayed up until 2:30am EST in order to follow the proceedings of the filibuster led by Sen. Davis. After the chaos that erupted, it was finally deemed, after I was asleep, that the voting on the bill did not count and thus the filibuster was successful.

Never before have I had the opportunity to watch a state senate (yup, not that C-SPAN stuff) online live along with between 80,000 peaking at 160,000 other people from around the world. That meant no fibs, no lies, and no cheating allowed – and, to be honest, that was reassuring in such a critical voting situation. Following along with people in the senate on twitter, other onlookers, and just people with opinions gave the whole situation a sporting-event/reality show sort of feel and it was exhilarating to see so many people invested in politics.

However, what I found to be more upsetting than all the enduring bullshit that continued to come up throughout the night was the commentary following. This bill not only raised awareness regarding the issue of abortion, but the patriarchal system that we function under.

As I do not wish to talk about this forever, I wanted to highlight the comments of one anti-choice “friend” of mine on Facebook. I do not have a problem with his selected political stance, but in his lengthy status disagreeing with the proceedings of the evening he ended stating that women needed to “suffer the consequences” of their actions. He did specify that there should be exceptions in the case of incest, rape, or health of the mother, so that sort of “suffering” was unfair – but he essentially alluded that every potentially unwanted pregnancy is a “punishment” for sex.

This was strange coming from a person who insists that life is valuable, a blessing, and should be cherished. I personally identify as pro-choice because I understand that it is not an easy decision to make. Also, the access to abortions and other medical care for women who do make the choice is so limited, that even if they technically have a choice, they may not have access to the care they need.

Ultimately, last night (this morning?) was a victory that I hope sets a precedent for the future. Maybe one day we’ll live in a world where women will no longer have to fight for their rights, but until then – gotta keep rolling.

Friendships (The Trials and Tribulations of)

This week seems to be centered around friendships. Friends may come and go, but the important part of starting a relationship (which is the relatively easy part) is maintaining the relationship.

I was recently a camp counselor and one of the key portions of the camp is creating a bond between the campers and the counselors so the participants feel as though they can utilize the counselors as a resource. This week in particular, I feel like I really bonded with my campers and I do want to maintain the relationship. Not only that, but I really bonded with my other counselor and our advisors who I would love to have a deeper friendship with. The only catch? Now the relationships are in my ballpark to maintain, which is where I have the trouble.

In college I have formed very few true friendships – especially female friendships. Nurturing relationships recently has been increasingly difficult as I thought that I had met my capacity for friends. Under this false veil of security, I thought that I had maxed out my social calendar. Instead, I really was just dropping the ball on people who I really could have been close with.

Now I am at the crossroads of a friendship. A very dear friend of mine is moving on to a greater opportunity post-graduation about eight hours away for the next year. Of all my college relationships, she is one that I hold very dear to my heart and one of the only girls that I have allowed myself to let reach “best friend” status. Again, the ball falls in my park to maintain the relationship that we have in order to continue to be friends – which is what I want to happen. Texting whenever we’re thinking of each other, sending silly videos, and, hopefully, visiting will all be in the books next year.

And for one of our last adventures? Her and I, along with other new friends (yay!) are going to see a film regarding female friendship, Frances Ha. With this in mind, I have been revisiting some old favorite loving chick-flicks including an early morning watch of The Women (the 2008 version, y’all). And one of my favorite scenes is between Sylvia and Molly regarding their friendship. As they sit on the stoop of a random brownstone in New York the dialogue goes like this:

Mary: You know what this feels like? It feels like that phantom limb syndrome. You know that thing where you lose a part of your body, like an arm or something… but you still have the sensation that it’s there.

Sylvia: Well, you know, I’m sure Stephen feels the same way.

Mary: Oh, no, I’m not talking about Stephen and me. I’m talking about you and me.

At this point they sob into each others shoulders and all is righted in the world. This sort of friendship cannot be replaced by anything in the world and is something that everyone strives for – and can achieve – with a lot of time, patience, and effort. Hopefully this is something that I can work towards and one day achieve with my friends.

And for any of my friends who may be reading this: I am trying.

love at first sight

First meeting someone tends to be odd – you know little more than their name and their appearance and some sort of reason of why your two paths crossed. From this experience, I find that more often than not I am incredibly attracted to everyone at first encounter. This happens regardless of the sex of the person. Maybe it is his or her new-ness, some interesting thing about them that I have never done or met someone who has done that particular thing, or maybe it is just how they pronounce a particular word. Who knows.

This feeling, this love, tends to fade away over time or even within the span of the conversation. But it is so strange how first encounters and interactions can mean so much and impact what happens (or doesn’t happen) to a relationship so fast.